Midhurst get off to losing start - but Sids look solid

With four games played, Midhurst are bottom of the county league division two and have conceded 14 goals and scored only one.

Having ended last season in mid-table, they had hopes of getting off to a good start - but with the loss of several quality players to other teams they are finding it a struggle to put out a winning side.

As Rotherfield is used by Easebourne Cricket Club until the first week in September, Midhurst must play away for their first few games.

Their visits to Storrington and Mile Oak ended in 2-0 losses while the next game, at Broadbridge Heath, resulted in a 3-0 reverse.

The side have lost players to other teams - several to other county-level teams and some to local West Sussex League teams. Early registrations saw 40 players signed on but for varying reasons, not enough quality players were available for selection.

The first game against Storrington was well-contested and although the home side were very robust, play was end to end.

At Mile Oak, Midhurst should have collected a draw after showing plenty of enthusiasm but were not able to score any goals.

At Broadbridge Heath, the first half saw Midhurst struggle to get into the game. However the second half gave promise of perhaps shared points and Midhurst brought on their three subs, Adam Exall, Callum Dowdell and Mark Pelling, play livened up.

Sadly the Stags couldn’t convert their neat, passing football into attempts on goal.

The biggest defeat so far was a 6-1 defeat at Saltdean on Saturday, when a Pelling goal in the 50th minute was all Midhurst had to show for their efforts. Four goals conceded in the first 31 minutes had by then sealed their fate.

Midhurst finally get to play a home game this Saturday (Aug 31) when Rustington are their visitors.

Sidlesham 1 Ferring 0

Sussex League division three

Sidlesham began their defence of the title with a hard-fought win over battling Ferring.

Ferring were stronger from the start and the Sids were being put under pressure - but after a while they began to get into the game.

On 30 minutes the Sids nearly opened the scoring when a cross was met by John Phillips, whose shot hit the post.

A Ferring forward was tackled in the area and the referee awarded a penalty. Billy Chatfield said something to the referee, who showed him a red card.

With the Sids down to ten men, the penalty was saved by keeper Matt Cohen.

The second half saw the Sids take the game to Ferring and when the ball was bobbing around the Ferring goalmouth, the Sids forwards saw two shots hit the post.

Dan Bassil went into a tackle and when the Ferring player over-reacted, the referee dismissed both players when everyone else thought yellow would be enough.

On 80 minutes a Ferring forward struck a tremendous shot which hit the Sids upright.

Five minutes from time, the ball dropped to Phillips who hit it in off the post to give the Sids a 1-0 lead.

Ferring went looking for a equaliser and, seconds before full-time, with the goal at his mercy, a forward blasted over the bar.

SIDS: Cohen, Millins, Carrigher, Chatfield, Membry, Newman, Hartley, Platt, Phillips, Derry, Bassil. Subs: Bayley, Hounsome, Low, Bunker, Pope.

The Sids are next in action against Peacehaven in the Sussex Intermediate Cup on Saturday, September 7.